Full text: Bacon, Francis: Sylva sylvarum

GOld hath theſe Natures: Greatneſs of VVeight, Cloſeneſs of Parts,
Fixation, Pliantneſs or Softneſs, Immunity from Ruſt, Colour or
Tincture of Yellow. Therefore the ſ [?] ure way (though moſt about) to
make GOld, is to know the cauſes of the ſeveral Natures before rehearſed,
and the Axioms concerning the ſame. For if a Man can make a Metal
that hath all theſe Properties, let Men diſpute, whether it be Gold,
or no?


touching the
Nature of

THe Enducing and Accelerating of Putrefaction, is a ſubject of avery
Univerſal Enquiry. For Corruption is a Reciprocal to Generation; and they two are as Natures to Terms or Boundaties; and the Guides to Life
and Death, Putrefaction is the VVork of the Spirits of Bodies, which ever
are unquiet to get forth and congregate with the Air, and to enjoy the
Sun-Beams. The getting forth, or ſpreding of the Spirits, (which is a
degree of getting forth) have five differing operations. If the Spirits be
detained within the Body, and move more violently, there followeth Colli-
quation; as in Metals, & c. If more mildely, there followeth Digeſtion or
Maturation; as in Drinks and Fruits. If the Spirits be not meetly detained,
but Protrude a little, and that Motion be conſuſed, and inordinate, there
followeth Putrefaction; which ever diſſolveth the Conſiſtence of the Body
into much inequality; as in Fleſh, Rotten Fruits, Shining VVood, & c. and alſo in the Ruſt of Metals. But if that Motion be in a certain order,
there followeth Vivification and Figuration; as both in Living Creatures
bred of Putrefaction, and in Living Creatures perfect. But if the Spirits
iſſue out of the Body, there followeth Deſiccation, Induration, Conſump-
tion, & c. As in Brick, evaporation of Bodies Liquid, & c.


in Conſort,
touching the
Enducing and
of Putrefacti-

The Means to enduce and accelerate Putreſaction, are, Firſt, By add-
ing ſome crude or watry moiſture; as in VVetting of any Fleſh, Fruit,
Wood, with Water, & c. For contrariwiſe, Unctuous and Oyly Subſtances



The ſecond is, By Invitation or Excitation; as when a rotten Apple
lieth cloſe to another Apple that is ſound; or when Dung (which is a ſub-
ſtance already putrified) is added to other Bodies. And this is alſo notably
ſeen in Church-yards, where they bury much; where the Earth will con-
ſume the Corps, in far ſhorter time than other Earth will.



The third is, By Cloſeneſs and Stopping, which detaineth the Spirits
in Priſon, more then they would, and thereby irritateth them to ſeek iſſue; as in Corn and Cloaths which wax muſty; and therefore open Air (which
they call Aer perflabilis) doth preſerve: And this doth appear more evident-
ly in Agues, which come (moſt of them) of obſtructions and penning the
Humors, which thereupon Putrifie.



The fourth is, By Solution of Continuity; as we ſee an Apple will rot
ſooner, if it be cut or pierced, and ſo will Wood, & c. And ſo the Fleſh of
Creatures alive, where they have received any wound.



The fifth is, Either by the Exhaling, or by the driving back of the prin-
cipal Spirits, which preſerve the conſiſtence of the Body; ſo that when their
Government is diſſolved every partreturneth to his Nature, or Homogeny. And this appeareth in Urine and Blood, when they cool and thereby
break. It appeareth alſo in the Gangreen or Mortification of Fleſh,
either by Opiates, or by Intenſe Colds. I conceive alſo, the ſame effect


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